Posted Friday 12/14/18 at 5:45PM EST
CBS' toxic culture can be seen in the "boys-will-be-boys" stories it tells
Michael Weatherly, whom Eliza Dushku accused of sexual harassment on Bull that led to a $9.5 million settlement, plays the "the kind of seemingly innocuous, boys-will-be-boys male protagonist who has filled CBS’s airwaves for years," says Kathryn VanArendonk, pointing to other male protagonists on procedurals as CSI and NCIS and their spinoffs. She adds: "There have been exceptions on CBS’s schedule — shows like The Good Wife and Madam Secretary are about prominent women in positions of power — but the common feature of so many of CBS’s most successful dramas, the ones that have spun off multi-city franchises and run for dozens of years and are watched by millions of people each week, is pretty basic: A man has power, and he wields it for his own ends." As VanArendonk points out, it's not hard to make a connection "between this rule of thumb for so many of CBS’s dramas, and who decides what shows get on the air every TV season ... The stories CBS puts out into the world are the ones that reflect the interests of the people who make them, and what results is a self-perpetuating cycle. When we as CBS viewers watch stories that valorize male ego and male judgment, we’re bathed in a TV landscape that teaches us that men who have power are the default. So when men like Les Moonves, Brad Kern, and Michael Weatherly harass and abuse the women around them, their entitlement to hold positions of power appears normal in the context of the shows they make. They are entitled to that power, and that entitlement is confirmed and echoed by what we watch on TV, night after night. Occasionally, as often happens on Bull, what we’re seeing is borderline harassment that’s excused as romance, as (Jason) Bull’s professional relationships with women regularly trip over into sexual conquest. But more pervasively, what we watch on long-running CBS franchises is the repeated reiteration of who matters: Men in power are protagonists, and women are disposable."
Here's how Bull's showrunner previously explained Eliza Dushku's abrupt exit
When Dushku was cast on the CBS drama for a three-episode arc in March 2017, TVLine described her as being a "potential series regular." Thursday's New York Times bombshell noted that Bull had detailed plans for adding Dushku to the show full-time. Months before Dushku's $9.5 million sexual harassment payment was revealed yesterday, TVLine asked showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron about her exit. "I think what we all realized was… the only way to have kept her character in the show, because she is a lawyer, was if her law firm bought Bull’s company, and then you’re really changing the DNA of the whole show,” Caron said before this season. “There was no way to keep that sort of ‘duet’ working.”
NBC to adapt The Black Tapes podcast as a supernatural drama
The popular podcast revolves around a paranormal investigator who is described as an "evangelical skeptic" on a mission to debunk all claims of the supernatural. The series follows as the investigator becomes interested in tackling unsolved cases that the podcast refers to as his "Black Tapes."
Megan Mullally says designers won't dress her when she hosts the SAG Awards -- Christian Siriano offers to help
“Looks like i will be buying my dress online... as per my usual, even though there is literally a 100 percent chance that i will be on camera, because I’M HOSTING IT,” Mullally wrote on Instagram. “Designers do not send me dresses.” Fashion designer Christian Siriano commented on the post, writing: “I would love to dress you!”
CBS names 18 anti-harassment groups that will share $20 million from Les Moonves' severance
“These organizations represent different critical approaches to combatting sexual harassment, including efforts to change culture and improve gender equity in the workplace, train and educate employees, and provide victims with services and support," CBS said in a statement. The money comes from severance that was originally earmarked for Moonves.
Morgan Spurlock to pay $1.2 million to Turner after abandoning TNT's female-focused series in wake of his sexual misconduct admission
Spurlock's production company has reached a settlement with Turner Entertainment Networks a year after his admission to past sexual misconduct caused him to abandon a series on women's issues titled Who Rules the World, which he was producing with Sarah Jessica Parker. Turner sued in March, requesting the return of production funds as well as alleging that Spurlock failed to communicate after his #MeToo admission.
TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly has been tasked with launching WarnerMedia's streaming service
Reilly, who has developed hit shows like The Shield and The Office in stints at FX, Fox and NBC, will oversee programming for WarnerMedia's new streaming service. Reilly will continue serving as TBT/TNT president and Turner chief creative officer.
Hunger Games alum Willow Shields boards Netflix ice skating drama Spinning Out
Shields will play Kaya Scodelario's character's younger sister, who displays "natural grace" as an ice skater.
Watch a bald Benedict Cumberbatch in HBO's Brexit trailer
The Sherlock star plays Dominic Cummings, who spearheaded Britain's Brexit vote as director of the Vote Leave campaign. Even Cummings' wife is impressed by Cumberbatch's performance in the trailer. Brexit premieres on HBO on Jan. 19.
- CBS' toxic culture can be seen in the "boys-will-be-boys" stories it tells